A community open house on Tuesday April 9 at the Minden Legion hosted by Hydro One provided the public an opportunity to learn and ask questions about the upcoming Minden transformer station expansion project.
Hydro One manager of projects Gianni DiFilippo said this project will cost close to $33 million and this upcoming work will modernize the station bring greater electrical capacity and provide reliable energy.
He said the upgrades will include technological improvements and provide operating flexibility which could have enabled Hydro One to reduce the response time to the fire last year that destroyed the T1 transformer that left some 20000 customers in the dark for at least a few hours
“One example is we’ll be able to respond quicker to outage scenarios by having remote switching capability from our operating control centre in Barrie so rather than dispatching crews we can actually operate the station remotely” he said. “And that helps reduce the response time to certain events. Every event is a little different but that’s some of the modernization that we’re working on or they’ll be part of the project to allow that happen.”
Originally built in the 1950s the Minden transformer station was in need of investment for the future.
“The existing station has been here for 70 years powering the community and as part of that investment we want to make sure that we’re providing a reliable supply of electricity as we are now. As well as providing future growth and capacity so the size of the transformers will be able to sustain greater load and more growth in the area in the future should it be required. The station will be future-proof for many years to come” he said.
The project will be implemented in five stages starting with site preparation followed by installation of the T2 transformer then the construction of two new buildings and technical upgrades then installation of T1 transformer and finish with removal of the old station equipment. The work is expected to start in June this year and is expected to be completed by March 2021.
A few residents came in with questions related to project details and what disruption to power there will be.
“The plan right now is to minimize that disruption. We think we have that to a very short duration” he said referring to a half a day. “It all has to do with the way the work is staged.”
There will be notices made through media and customers will be notified of any power outages related to the work closer to the date. Power outages are likely to be only a few hours due to temporary shutdown to switching transformers. Work will be performed during the day and traffic delays if any near the site will be minimal.
During the site preparation stage there will be the removal of trees on the property to expand for the buildings and new fence. Hydro One has committed to donating the wood to the Heat Bank Haliburton County.
Tina Jackson of Heat Bank Haliburton County said when she was contacted a little more than two weeks ago welcomed the donation. She said this donation which she estimates will provide a quarter of last year’s collected wood was based on a recommendation made by local resident Ryan Wood who works for Hydro One and knows about the Heat Bank.
Additional information about the project or any questions can be directed to Hydro One’s community relations at Community.Relations@HydroOne.com or (416)-345-6799.